Two eyes are better than one

Just before Christmas, I bought a telescope. (Statistically, telescope sales must be going up in December.) A 20 cm Newtonian with 120 cm focal length on a Dobsonian mount. I really like the scope, and observing with it is a joy.

This recent addition to my optical resources is something of a dream come true. As a teenager in the 1980’s, the telescope I regularly used was a 6 cm refractor. It was a versatile instrument, with which I made hundreds of observations of sunspots and quite a few of variable stars, but still, only a 6 cm refractor. I never got round to getting a bigger instrument, and then, around 1990 drifted out of amateur astronomy. Other things occupied my mind.

Now, some 20+ years later, I have a much larger instrument at my hands – but I still like to observe with my binoculars as well.

I think the reason for this is a kind of pragmatic observational style that is possible with a small instrument. It takes no time at all to start observing with the binoculars, which is important given the slightly unsteady weather here in southern Sweden. Sometimes, I even observe variable stars with it through (open) windows. It is a quick instrument, suitable for a set of rapid variable star estimates.

No perfect instrument exists. Every instrument has its pros and cons.

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